Neglected washer hoses are a recipe for disaster

Washing machine hoses — those python-like lengths of rubber or metal that attach your washer to your water source — are one of the most neglected and potentially damaging maintenance monsters in your home. Taking time to check your washer’s hoses regularly could save you money and misery in the future.

Are your furnishings, floor coverings and heirloom keepsakes worth more than $20? Washing machine hoses cost $10 to $20 — a small investment compared to the expensive damage, inconvenient mess and loss of irreplaceable treasures that can occur when your washer's hoses burst or leak.

Washing machine hoses are under constant pressure when the water supply is on, not just on laundry day. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, washing machine-related failure and flooding is one of the top 10 causes of home water damage, and more than half of those catastrophes are caused by hose failure. To reduce the risk of your hoses failing, inspect them regularly for cracks, blisters, wear or other damage, and consider turning the water supply off when you will be away from home for several days. The IBHS recommends replacing hoses every five years even if there are no obvious signs of wear, since damage can begin internally and leave no clues until the hose actually splits or bursts. As Benjamin Franklin advised, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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